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The Carson Wentz trade looks even better a year later

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Some things get even better with age

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Over the past few years, the Eagles have made more than a few bold moves. Perhaps none was as bold as the trade to acquire the 2nd overall pick in 2016 to draft Carson Wentz, made a year ago today.

The Eagles had a few reasons to move up for a quarterback last year beyond just becoming enamored with Wentz. The opportunity cost of not making the trade was pretty steep: if they had sat still with Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, they’d still need a long term solution at QB a year later; at the time they felt they wouldn’t have been in as good of position to get one, as a chance to trade up that far rarely happens; and last but not least, the team felt Carson Wentz was better than anyone in the 2017 draft would be.

A year later, all of those reasons have played out in their favor.

Sam Bradford was given a contract that showed the Eagles had no real attachment to him, and their sudden trade of him to the Vikings only further demonstrated that they were willing to move on when the opportunity presented itself. Chase Daniel’s tenure with the team was longer but not any stronger. Had the team not drafted Wentz, they’d still be looking, with good reason.

Of course, had the Eagles not traded up for Wentz, they wouldn’t have traded Bradford, so they’d be holding the 12th pick instead of the 14th this year. That’s no real difference from having the 13th pick the last year. But this year there was no opportunity to trade up without giving up any picks, as the Eagles did offloading Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to get from 13th to 8th. If there was, they would have done it, moving up in the draft at the cost of unwanted players and contracts is a no-brainer. Like last year they weren’t short on contracts they’d be willing to part with. The path to moving up for a QB from outside the top 10 would be even harder this year.

Assuming there would be a QB worth trading up for. Which in this draft is a big assumption.

For the past two years quarterbacks have gone 1st and 2nd overall, that won’t be the case this year. Two or three quarterbacks could be drafted in the 1st round, but they won’t be bunched at the very top of the draft. Ironically, the Eagles would probably be in position to draft one of the top QBs in the draft. But they are all worse prospects than Wentz. A year ago DeShaun Watson was seen as the top QB for the 2017 NFL Draft, now he’s not even a sure fire 1st rounder. Mitchell Trubisky, who had 125 career pass attempts before his 2016 season, has all the short resume concerns of Wentz but none of the almost over-the-top fawning from multiple teams throughout the lead up to the draft. Pat Mahomes, DeShone Kizer… they may turn out to be good or even great NFL QBs, but they aren’t getting a quarter of the accolades that Wentz was last year.

It’s a good year to not need a QB, and because they got ahead of it last year and traded up for Carson Wentz, the Eagles don’t need one.